“I don’t dance,” he told me, frowning at the hand I extended towards him.
“It’s okay. I’ll take the lead.”
He hesitated. “You’ll just make yourself look silly dancing with me.”
“I don’t care,” I replied, still with my hand extended towards him, palms up.
Still he hesitated, and I had to withdraw my hand and sit down beside him. I suppose I knew that two guys dancing together would still look kinda awkward, but I’m usually comfortable with awkward. Unfortunately, it seems he isn’t.
“What’s bothering you?” I asked him.
“Well… everything,” he said, waving an arm towards the rest of the crowd. “I’m not comfortable with crowds.”
“Neither am I,” I smiled. “You wanna go somewhere else?”
He hesitated yet again. I’m getting used to it, and actually getting fond of it. I could almost hear the gears turning in his mind, weighing his choices. Although I could have influenced his decision, I’d very much rather he decides for himself.
“Actually, I’m feeling a bit tired. I think I’ll just go home.”
It wasn’t completely beyond me to think that would be an option, but it surprised me nonetheless that he ended up choosing it.
“Okay,” I shrugged. “If that’s what you want.”
I waited with him until he got a taxi. There was nothing much to tell about that. It was mostly filled with an awkward silence. I’m not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing.
When a taxi finally arrived, he asked, “Where are you headed?”
“I think I’m going to grab a couple of beers, and then head home.”
He hesitated, “Are you going to be alright?”
I gave him my most handsome smile, and said, “Why wouldn’t I be?”
He punched me playfully in the arm and went inside the waiting car. He gave me one last look and said, “Be safe.”
I smiled. “You too.”
After the taxi drove off, I went back to the club and took one more beer. I was minding my own business, when suddenly, a guy went up to me and asked, “Do you want to dance?”
That’s when I met you.
Writing prompt of the hour: two-time
Writing Prompt: Pyre
Writing prompt of the hour: pyre
It was dawn, and the sun just started rising from the singular, small window inside my cell. I can see the darkness being chased by the light, as if promising a beautiful day to all who sees it. But it brought nothing but despair to me. For today, along with my allies, I shall be burned at the stake.
I heard the guards walking down the stairs, their metallic armor making most of the noise.
They dragged us up and out to the public square, hands tied and eyes blindfolded, while people surrounded us. I can hear their voices. A few even spat. I wondered if they even know what we were accused of, and whether it’s true or not. My hands were tied so tightly that I can’t even lift them up to wipe the spit. The Inquisitor had for some reason thought that we curse by making gestures, and so made extra care to tie up my fingers together.
What a silly superstition. I can curse simply by thinking it.
It wasn’t long before we reached the pyre and I was read my so-called crimes. The Inquisitor gave my ‘just’ punishment, and I was burned. I felt the heat from the flames, as they slowly, inch by inch, crawled towards me, and the searing pain when they licked my flesh, before devouring me whole. Try as I might, I couldn’t hold back the screams as my flesh harden and crack, my liquids evaporating, as my hair shriveled from the heat.
Then I woke up, a sweating mess.
Practice Writing Prompts: Friendship
It was a dark time indeed, and a time that I wish I could have forgotten. Yet, the pain continues to run me down each time I walk a dark corner in my life, reminding me of treachery and deceit, that memory forever etched in my mind. It comes as no surprise then that most of my allies find me useless. In this time of great need, the last thing they wanted is a person who cannot cooperate in important tasks.
And important they were, because war is coming, and they need every bit of help they can get. Being at war, they need to strategize, to factor in every bit of skill and ability that each person possesses. Yet my distrust of people prevents me from telling all but the most trivial of my abilities, and this proved unbearable for my current allies.
Am I to be blamed for this, then? Perhaps. I do not care. I still care enough to present myself in these battles, and for that they should be grateful. The heroes of the past eons have all vanished, and what remains are the apprentices of the great wizards and warriors, both modern and old. Such a mess we are in right now. But this is not enough for me to give in. Who do they think they are, demanding blind obedience and to lay down my cards. I will never again hold myself at the mercy of another, be it friend or foe, and indeed the former may be more deadly than the latter.
Just as the head of our team is about to demand once again my obedience, we heard the rattling sound just beyond the dunes. The sound is unmistakable, echoing all over the relative safety of the ruined building (which I heard used to be a majestic sight; it was no longer there when I arrived), which we took as temporary shelter in this wretched wasteland.
In an instant, I saw fear strike the eyes of our leader, and I saw it like a chain running among the others in my team; in the darkness, I could not see how pale they got, but I can guess quite well. I decided to peek over the dunes, and saw the source of the nightmare.
Walking animatedly in their tainted ivory colors are what used to be humans, but are now mere skeletons, walking towards us. We used to fear a zombie apocalypse, but what rose was a more hideous transformation. For zombies, in most of our fantasies, cannot think or reason, and definitely not act cooperatively. They are also of lesser skill, barely none, unless you factor in those biological mutations in Resident Evil.
No, these are much worse. For though mindless, these are intelligent animated creatures, held together by spells long thought gone from the world after the rise of science and technology. Who could have guessed that within the labyrinth of the molecules, the atoms, and the electrons, we will find the very spells and charms that we thought were mere fictions? We found, and much to our chagrin.
I took my weapon, a long staff, topped by Runic markings that I’ve spent most of my life studying. The wind continued to howl, and my would-be comrades continued to shiver. I uttered a few words, naming the Runic markings, and swung the staff in the direction of the army of death.
Next thing we hear is a defeaning explosion as the earth beneath the skeletons roared into life, swallowing most of them into the mouth-crevice of the land. In a few moments, the ivory-colored army have all disappeared, and I uttered the spell to close the crack of the earth over the once-dead.
The wind continued to howl, and the cowering crowd stared in amazement.
“I have no need of your team. I will act as I will.” As I always have, I added silently, as I walked on towards our common destination.
March 29, 2013, 10:01 PM
It’s been a long time since I’ve written here, particularly opinion pieces. I think it’s because I realized that opinions are becoming so cheap; everyone has his or her own opinion on anything and everything, from food and anime to sex and lifestyle. It made me wonder, how does even one measure the value of one opinion over another?
Being an obnoxious “asker” and not wanting to drive people insane with too many questions (seen it happen too often), I simply started with myself and my observation of how other people measure opinions (without asking them).
It’s still a work in progress, but so far, I noticed that the person giving the opinion usually has an effect on the people’s measurement of the opinion. For example, an atheist would give more value to the words and opinions of a fellow atheist, and usually look down at the opinions of non-atheists. The same goes for other communities, like when a religious person would give more credence to the opinion of another religious person.
So often, it’s not really the opinion that matters, but the person who is giving the opinion and the person receiving that information, but this turned out to be a tricky matter.
A number of times, when a person has incorrect information as to who made the opinion, it affects his or her measurement of the opinion; for example, theists who never read the Bible is given a phrase about rape in the Bible and was led to believe that it was from someone or somewhere other than the religious book, would immediately claim it’s a proof that people not of their congregation are “evil” or “bad.” When shown that it’s actually from their Bible, they retort with “out of context” excuses. Didn’t they consider that if it was indeed from another source, they were also reading it out of context?
And this is only when they were intentionally misled. There were also times when people simply assumed wrongly about the source of information.
So. Opinions produce opinions from others, and whether the original opinion that sparked the succeeding opinions is a good one is never the point; the point is that people are too ready to respond with their own opinions than weighing the value of the original opinion. People seem to have a ready answer to anything and everything. The magic of curiosity, wonder and hunger for knowledge is thrown out, replaced with the desire to appear more knowledgeable and informed than the other person. Expressing opinions has become a common thing nowadays in this age of information and social media, with every person thinking that his or her own opinion has weight and merit. Opinions have become so cheap because of the sheer volume of people who want to express their own, and so few who actually want to hear and learn from them.
In the end, I still explained my own opinion that was sparked by my own observation. The thing is, does this all even matter? What is the point of releasing an opinion piece when, while reading, people are preparing their own retort to the opinion? When no one wants to be bothered by your opinion because they have their own, or that they have their own set of people (be it religious, showbiz or otherwise) whose opinions they already value above yours? When they will judge your opinion based on personal biases about you rather than the opinion itself?
Writing Prompt: unsolved
Writing prompt of the hour: unsolved
WARNING: Graphic Content
It was already an hour after midnight, and no one has a clue over what’s going on. You’d think it was a simple case of murder, and yet no one has a clue over the intentions. Surely, it can’t be merely a case of theft gone awry? After all, how many thieves do you know who prefer stealing the warm, bloody heart of a prepubescent child? And carefully, it would seem. The cut was precise, as if a heart surgeon had performed the operation. The officers are currently looking at that angle.
The family was aghast, understandably. The child’s caretaker was in no better shape. She was a neighbor’s daughter who has been working as a sitter to save money for college. Nothing was stolen from her aside from her virginity (perhaps?) and her life. And perhaps her beauty. She might have been beautiful, but at the moment, she is nothing but a gory mess. In contrast to the child, no discernible care was provided by the assailant. Or assailants, the chief reckoned, based on the amount of semen found in various orifices in her body. Six if one prefers to be precise, and I’ll let your imagination run wild at that.
Officers whisper of some sort of Satanic ritual done to summon the devil, upon which the resident Satanist of the force reacted with a raised eyebrow. The subject matter was dropped immediately lest they face a lengthy discourse on the history of Satanism and the violence of Christianity.
The Satanist takes one final look at the child. This can’t be the work of some wannabe Satanists. Something seriously twisted just woke up.